20170510

Kidnapped C’River Commissioner Freed after N10m Ransom

One month after he was abducted by some gunmen, the Cross River State Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Gabriel Odu-Oji, has been released.

Mr Odu-Oji who was released at about 6.15pm on Monday was abducted on April 9 on Efioanwan Street, in the Mayne Avenue area of Calabar-South by some gunmen.

The kidnappers had initially opened discussions with the family, demanding N100m in ransom. He was, however, released after the payment of N10m ransom to the kidnappers.

Although police denied payment of the ransom, a source said N10m was paid to secure his release.

The source told Punch that “nobody will tell you that any money was paid because the state government had initially thought they could secure his release without any ransom.

“But I can tell you that N10m was paid to secure his release. He was brought in through the Marina Waterside of Calabar-South. For the period he was in captivity, all hands were on deck to ensure that he was released unhurt.”

When contacted, the state Police PRO, Irene Ugbo, confirmed that the commissioner was released on Monday evening.

“As we speak, the commissioner for water resources has been released and he is right now with his family. No ransom was paid to his kidnappers.

“It took the combined effort of security agencies in the state and the Office of the State Security Adviser to secure his release. We are happy that he was released alive, hale and hearty,” she said.